By Theresa Fugger
Season X is coming up with the first two events in Italy, the Livigno Pro Team Tempo on November 29th and Livigno Prologue on December 1st. Each Visma Ski Classics Pro Team prepares for the big season opening in their own way. Athletes in German-speaking countries are very fortunate as there is already a lot of snow in the southern part of Europe.
Skating workouts to relax muscles
The only Swiss Pro Team in Season X has already checked out the tracks in Livigno early in November. Although the tracks in Davos have already been open since October 26th, thanks to snow farming, the Pro Team trained first in Italy for not having to train 1.5 months on the same track in Switzerland. Now they meet up 2-3 times for some long training workouts, but also for short intensive intervals to put the final touches to the performance of the athletes. “The main focus is of course on the classic technique and double-poling, but we also do some skating workouts to limber up the muscles," says Pro Team Director Markus Walser. In addition, the Pro Team uses the good conditions in Switzerland for ski testing and getting accustomed to new materials.
Final team training in Livigno
Similarly, xc-ski.de AIN Skimarathon Team already skis in Davos, but also in Seefeld in Austria, to collect the first snow kilometers of the season. Thomas Freimuth was even able to ski in the Bavarian Forest for some time before the snow disappeared again after a few days. Therefore, most of the training is still consisting of roller skiing, running and strength training, which each athlete is doing individually. But you will find the Pro Team in Livigno for a whole week before the first competitions. Sabine Freimuth, Pro Team Director, emphasizes the importance of a final team training week before the season starts: “We will already travel to Livigno on the weekend before the events, and team members will gradually join until we are complete for the Pro Team Tempo.”
Erasing weak points
Team Nordic People follows a similar strategy. After their last training camp in Livigno a few weeks ago, they plan to meet up again on Monday before the season starts in the same place to get used to the altitude. While most Pro Team athletes train now on roller skis at their respective homes, Christian Winker and Florian Goebel went back to Livigno only a few days after the training camp to find even better conditions after the great snow fall. The first week after the camp was dominated by intensive training sessions followed by a resting week. “This last week we focus on exterminating individual weak points and on long training sessions”, reveals Pro Team Director Bernd Frost.
Individual training in many different locations
“For us the races in Livigno are crucial to see where we are standing in comparison to other teams. The long preparation phase is going towards an end and we are excited to start Season X”, says Sven Münch, Pro Team Direcor of Team Tri Nordic Coaching. Munich, Davos, Livigno, Oberhof, Daschstein, Östersund, and even Dallas (Texas) – the Pro Team has spread out within the past few weeks to train in many different places, and mostly individually. Pro Team Coach Stefan Schmid, 2015 IRONMAN winner in Mexico, shares all his experience of long-distance racing to each team member while he is still training on his own as he plans to race some Visma Ski Classics events this season.
Less volume, more quality
Final preparations in Skimarathon Team Austria are very diverse. The three Finnish athletes of the Pro Team use the good snow conditions in Northern Finland, and Veli-Matti Räsänen even started his season at two Suomen Cup events (Finland Cup). The Pro Team’s top female skier, Terhi Pollari, focuses more on strength training compared to previous years and was able to improve tremendously her double-poling skills as well as her speed. The German-speaking athletes, on the other hand, are mostly training in Obertilliach and Sportgastein in Austria where some of them are joined at training camps by their fellow students from school. “Generally, each athlete is undertaking an intensive training plan following the principle of less volume and more quality,” tells Pro Team Director Peter Kiene. He underlines the importance of training with SkiErg in order to prepare for the long double-poling competitions.
All German-speaking Pro Teams are fully focused on final preparations for the start of Visma Ski Classics Season X and train in many different ways for one common goal: to position themselves in the best possible way at the beginning of the season.